The Winning Team
Read Colossians 2:15
He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.
How does knowing that Jesus has already secured the victory over evil change your daily perspective?
It was a cold November night in 2008. The Nebraska Cornhusker football team was down against the Colorado Buffaloes 31-30 with only 1 minute and 43 seconds on the clock. The Huskers were facing a fourth-and-25 on the Buffs 40 yard line. The situation seemed pretty bleak when Alex Henery took the field to attempt a school-record 57-yard field goal. If he missed it, the game was pretty much over. Victory for the Huskers was a long shot. So the celebratory roar inside Memorial Stadium was deafening when he succeeded in putting the ball between the uprights and taking the lead back for the Huskers. The victory was completely secured when Ndamukong Suh picked off a Buff’s pass and ran it back for a touchdown. It was the Huskers over the Buffs, 40-31, when just a moment before, all hope had seemed lost.
If you are a sports fan, I have little doubt that your favorite team has, at one time or another, been on both sides of a ballgame like this. It is embarrassing to lose the lead in the last few minutes of a game. No one wants to taste defeat after they thought victory was a sure thing. But for the victors, there is no sweeter triumph than a win that almost wasn’t.
In today’s verse, Paul reminds us that as believers in Jesus Christ, our team wins. When Jesus was crucified on the cross, it seemed like all hope was lost. In fact, Jesus’ disciples all scattered and hid. Just days before, Jesus triumphantly rode into Jerusalem. They thought Jesus was the Messiah! How could He have been defeated? How could He be put to death? It probably didn’t make any sense to them.
But imagine their elation when they found out that Jesus had conquered sin and death three days later! His disciples didn’t understand this at first but when Jesus died on the cross, He stripped Satan and his demons of their power. Because God canceled the believer’s debt through Jesus’ work on the cross, Satan and his fallen angels were defeated. They no longer have the power to enslave believers to sin and condemn them to death!
Hebrews 2:14 says, “Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil—and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death” (NIV).
Jesus’ death “disarmed” the enemy. His death rendered Satan powerless to harm believers in Christ. But His resurrection had to be downright humiliating to the enemy. It exposed Satan for who he is—an angel of evil and darkness. God’s almighty power, even over death, was established and Satan’s weakness was revealed.
Just as winning athletes are honored and celebrated, Jesus ascended into heaven in triumphant glory. He took a seat in a position of power and authority—at the right hand of God.
When we look around us right now, it is easy to be discouraged. It might seem like evil is winning and victory is a long shot. But take heart, we already know the final score! If you are a believer in Christ, you already share in the victory of Jesus over the devil! Satan may be scrambling and getting scrappy, but that’s because he knows the game clock is ticking. When the buzzer sounds, Satan will be put away forever—defeated and disgraced. But we’ll get to join in with all the hosts of heaven in the deafening victory cry of the saints. Jesus triumphs, friends. In Christ, you are on the winning team.
God, You are all-powerful! Through Jesus, You have secured the victory and graciously allowed us to share in that victory with You. Help me to live from a place of victory instead of walking around in defeat. Remind me that I already know the final score. It is you, Jesus, over everything else. Amen.